Having read Teentalk for Girls – Staying Cool, I thought it quite useful and informative for pre-teens to teenagers up to the age of 16 or 17, although I thought the chapters on sex, drugs and alcohol more relevant for the upper age range.
I liked the presentation and style of layout of the book and felt that the short chapters and paragraphs and anecdotal comments would attract many young readers.
The layout also lends itself to girls being able to easily select either individual sections or whole chapters to read.
I did find the "cool" style of writing and choice of vocabulary rather irritating after a while but I guess that was probably because the book was not written for the middle-aged woman!
The first two chapters ‘What is cool’ and ‘Peer power’ give helpful advice on how to recognise true friends, the importance of the peer group, how to be accepted within that group but at the same time retain one's own individuality and stand by one's own beliefs.
Lucy, my 13 year old daughter, however, said that she did not find these chapters particularly informative and thought some of the stories, written by teenagers about their first-hand experiences, a little weird and didn’t "ring true" for example the 15 year-old girl, who felt that belonging to a clique helped her connect with like-minded people.
The chapters on sex, drugs, alcohol and crime offered sound advice to teenagers, informing them how to say no to these risky situations, without losing popularity among friends. Lucy skimmed through these sections and did agree that there was some useful and helpful information for older teenagers.
Finally the list of contacts provided at the back in "Help is at Hand" giving phone numbers and website addresses was a useful addition to the book.
TeenTalk for Girls Staying Cool is published by Bonnier Books at £3.99.